Our Bodies Make Peptides from Amino Acids
Have you ever wondered why you take amino acid supplements?
The reason, as you probably know, is because amino acids are the building blocks for protein.
But in order to become protein, those amino acids first need to form into peptides.
With that in mind, your body needs to take in or produce amino acids in order to form the peptides your body needs to work efficiently.
As your body ages, and as it experiences different levels of stress, amino acids and peptide production can drop. This is one reason why the body starts to become weaker as we get older, why we gain fat instead of muscle, and why our skin starts to sag. It’s similar to the reason why our insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) production naturally drops as we age and experience more environmental stressors.
What Do Peptides Do?
Peptides play a variety of roles throughout the body. You can’t just say “peptides always build muscle” or “peptides always fight against wrinkles” because that’s not true: they perform all sorts of different roles.
Some peptides act like neurotransmitters, for example, while others act like hormones.
Some peptides will change the way your body reacts to diet and physical exercise. Some amino acids will also contribute to your body’s natural production of human growth hormone (HGH). But simply, when your body isn’t absorbing or producing enough of these amino acids, it can’t produce enough peptides. And when it can’t produce enough peptides, your production of vital compounds like HGH will be lowered.
So Should I Take an Amino Acid Supplement or a Peptide Supplement?
We’ve learned so far that amino acids link up and turn into peptides within the body. That’s why taking an amino acid supplement is so important.
So why are so many bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts beginning to take peptide supplements?
The idea is that peptides are digested and used more immediately by the body. Your body doesn’t have to take the time and effort to form up amino acids. It also doesn’t have to spend energy breaking down larger protein molecules.
Basically, peptides are small enough to be easily utilized throughout the body, but not so small they’re not utilized effectively.
Peptides are also thought to be more stable than amino acids after they enter the body. Amino acids are un-bonded and thought to be unstable, which means many of them break down before reaching their intended destination. So while amino acids might break down within the body, peptides retain their chemical structure, which means you get better “bang for your buck” with peptide supplements – or at least that’s the idea.